Shed of the Year Award goes to... – Scotsman comment

What is it exactly about a “shed” that is so appealing?

Father Len Black in his shed, the Oratory of St Joseph, in Inverness (Picture: Katielee Arrowsmith/PA Wire)

They are, after all, usually small, poorly heated, if at all, and lacking in the facilities to be found in that other form of accommodation, the home.

And yet there are some who almost seem to prefer the shed to the comfortable sofas and easy access to kitchen and bathroom to be found in the typical house.

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Perhaps for some it is a sanctuary, a place they can call their own and where they can make as much noise or enjoy as much quiet as they like.

The Men’s Shed movement, which began in Australia, has spread all over the world such are the beneficial effects on the mental health of men, although these tend to be larger affairs than the usual garden variety and to offer a communal experience.

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Given sheds have a special place in the hearts of so many, it seems fitting that there is a Shed of the Year award.

The finalists this year include a converted shed – otherwise known as The Oratory Of St Joseph – which is being used by Father Len Black, 72, to livestream masses from Inverness via Zoom several times a week. His competition includes a two-story shed/castle, a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang workshop and a bra-fitting boutique.

Hopefully, the award will spread the word about sheds to those who would similarly enjoy one, but it perhaps does not really matter who wins.

A shed is a personal thing and so, for those fortunate enough to have one, the Shed of the Year must surely always be their own.

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